The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has proposed a new “faceless and nameless” e-assessment procedure for income tax payers in the country. With the aim of implementing this procedure from 2018 onwards, the CBDT has also set up a high-level committee to set up a quick roadmap for this implementation.
The nine-member committee will start working on this proposal and submit its report by February 28, 2018. According to a senior member, the government’s wish to finish the proposal by February indicates its willingness to implement the procedure by the first half of next year. A pilot project of this procedure has already been running in a few cities and the feasibility of implementation was tested for the last few years.
The main aim of this initiative was to reduce the visits of taxpayers to IT offices. This move also aims to bring down corruption that may result from the existing procedure. Implementation of the new procedure is likely to increase manpower requirement due to the establishment of the e-assessment infrastructure. The committee will also focus on re-deploying manpower in IT offices across the country.
Based on the feasibility studies done by the CBDT, the number of income tax payers willing to opt for paperless e-assessment has increased 78% in the last three years. The government is currently focusing on implementing e-assessment in a phased manner. Moreover, the government wants to promote the process in such a way that taxpayers are confident enough to use the e-assessment platform.
Taxpayers can access the e-proceeding link after logging into their account in the IT website. Though the government is focused on promoting this initiative, it revealed that this process would be voluntary for taxpayers. They can take a call on whether to opt for the e-assessment process or continue with the manual process.